Monday, October 19, 2009

The funky score music in Amitabh Bachchan's Don sounds an awful lot like Together Brothers and Police Woman

Amitabh Bachchan, back in the days when he wasn't doing that Spencer Pratt creepy light-colored beard thing

This weekend, I finally got around to watching Amitabh Bachchan's 1978 Bollywood classic Don, which contains a musical number that Black Eyed Peas sampled in the first few seconds of 2005's "Don't Phunk with My Heart," and I was amused by how Don's score composer duo Kalyanji Anandji seemed to enjoy copping other musicians' works as much as BEP did with KA's hit songs.

In this clip of butt-kicking babe Roma (Zeenat Aman) disguised as a ditzy nurse, from 0:44 to 1:33, 1:41 to 3:17 and 3:56 to 4:12, here's KA's theme for Roma...

... which is basically Barry White's main theme from the 1974 blaxploitation flick Together Brothers, better known as the tune Quad City DJ's sampled in 1996's "C'mon N' Ride It (The Train)":

Indian Dudley Moore

Also, the duo's theme for tightrope walker/safecracker Jasjit (Pran), or as I like to call him, Indian Dudley Moore Dressed Like a Gay Johnny Cash, is a note-for-note rip of Morton Stevens' Police Woman theme. Every time Indian Dudley Moore's on-screen, I keep expecting him to make like Angie Dickinson and disguise himself as a hooker.

This was a few years before E-mu invented the Emulator sampler, so the Indian musicians recreated the tunes instead of sampling them. The illegal use of themes from other films or shows is a staple of '70s Asian action flicks ranging from Don to King Boxer/Five Fingers of Death (Lo Lieh is gonna get Ironside on your ass). Barry White must have been too chill or too stoned or too unable to squeeze himself out of his bubble chair to care.

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